Michelle Ruff on voicing Sinon on SAO 10th Anniversary
Michelle Ruff spoke to The Natural Aristocrat® about voicing Sword Art Online’s Sinon for eight years as SAO hits its tenth anniversary.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT (NIR REGEV): I recently interviewed Cherami Leigh on Sword Art Online’s 10th Anniversary. You’ve voiced Sinon (Shino Asada) since March 2015, so it’ll be eight years for you in a week and a half.
Do you also like to listen back to your original references for the character like Cherami and Bryce Papenbrook?
MICHELLE RUFF: Yeah, for sure! I think we all do that and I think the studio prefers it too. Just because it’s better to get a sense of where you were sitting at vocally and make sure it’s consistent.
I think it’s important for consistency.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Is it difficult to stay consistent with a character over a decade? I’ve heard that a person’s voice changes as they get older in general.
MICHELLE RUFF: No, I don’t think so. I mean, I would say yes if I had recorded Sinon when I was 18, but I was already an adult.
At this point, I don’t think my voice is gonna really change too much until I’m in my later years. Hopefully. We’re all still viable enough to hit the same notes. It’s like with Bleach, you know?
We’re all coming back for Bleach and I’m coming back as Rukia Kuchiki. I first recorded Rukia back in 2006 and I’ve been in studio recording and I’m right in the pocket.
And you look at Johnny Yong Bosch, he’s playing Ichigo Kurosaki and his stuff is very vocally challenging and he’s right in the pocket.
It’s interesting, the whole ageism thing with the business really strikes a chord. And I get it, you know, people do age and their voices change.
But we’re not changing. Unless you’re talking about like years and years of span, I don’t think you’re gonna get a difference. You’re not gonna hear a difference.
I mean, unless somebody’s had vocal cord surgery or throat surgery or suffered from an accident or something… But, other than that, I think I would say it’s not typical.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: When I interviewed voice actor Erik Scott Kimerer, he was hesitant to hype expectations for SAO-like viewership for Season 2 of Don’t Toy with Me Miss Nagatoro.
He felt there’s so many anime shows releasing today, it’s hard to bring everyone together at the same time like with a Dragon Ball Z or Cowboy Bebop. How do you feel about that?
MICHELLE RUFF: I don’t know if I agree with that. I still see shows that have huge fan bases and huge followings. I just think it depends on the show and how it’s promoted.
THE NATURAL ARISTOCRAT: Do you usually have a feeling when you’re working on a show that it’s going be big and have massive viewership?
MICHELLE RUFF: I’d say no. It’s kind of hard to tell. Like the new Bleach episodes obviously have a huge following because it already had a huge following prior.
And now what’s happening is that generation is bringing a younger generation in. Introducing them to the original and the new Thousand-Year Blood War.
I think with something like that, it works really well. And Naruto has a kind of a similar thing with Boruto.
It is generational because it’s been going on for so long.
But even like, gosh, Gurren Lagann for instance, we did that like what, 15 years ago?
It still has a huge following. I get so many fans to my table who adore the show and they’ve introduced their families to the series.
It’s one of those shows that has legs that is classic and people will introduce their friends to it. Or a mother and father will introduce it to their child or aunt and uncle to their niece or nephew.
It’s kind of like paying it forward. I think it just honestly depends on the show.
One thing that I do know about the acting business is that no one journey is the same. Every actor’s journey is different.
So one person might be experiencing one thing and another person is experiencing something completely different.
And that’s the one constant that you can count on.
Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our Michelle Ruff interview:
– Michelle Ruff talks voicing Etna in Disgaea game, anime dub
– Michelle Ruff: “We really redubbed Haruhi Suzumiya Endless Eight”
– Get the Sword Art Online Ordinal Scale Blu-ray! Stream the whole SAO English Dub anime series over on Crunchyroll.
Michelle Ruff on Social Media:
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Michelle Ruff is represented by Epoch Talent. Business and booking inquiries can be made out to [email protected].
Sword Art Online 2 English Dub Voice Actors – Characters
Bryce Papenbrook as Kirito / Kazuto Kirigaya
Cherami Leigh as Asuna / Asuna Yuuki
Michelle Ruff as Sinon / Shino Asada and Akiyo Sada
Erica Mendez as Yuuki Konno
Cassandra Lee Morris as Leafa / Suguha Kirigaya and Pina
Stephanie Sheh as Yui
Ben Diskin as Death Gun and Ginro
Kirk Thornton as Klein/Ryotaro Tsuboi
Christine Marie Cabanos as Silica / Keiko Ayano
Sarah Anne Williams as Lisbeth / Rika Shinozaki
Johnny Yong Bosch as Spiegel / Kyoji Shinkawa
Matt Mercer as Chrysheight / Seijiro Kikuoka
Johanna Luis as Kyoko Yuuki
Erika Harlacher as Siune/An Si-eun
Julie Ann Taylor as Natsuki Aki, Shino Asada’s mother, and Skuld
Erica Lindbeck as Nori
Dan Woren as Dyne
Colleen O’Shaughnessey as Endou and Verdandi
Chris Tergliafera as Yamikaze
Chris Cason as Tecchi
Max Mittelman as Jun
Zach Aguilar as Talken
Mela Lee as Freyja and Mizue Oosawa
Richard Epcar as Thor
Patrick Seitz as Agil / Andrew Gilbert Mills
John Snyder as Thrym
Grant George as Xexeed / Tamotsu Shigemura
John Estainislau as Cait Sith
Karen Strassman as Sachie Osawa and Urd
Kaiji Tang as Schmidt
Jalen K. Cassell as Gnome Scout
More Exclusive Sword Art Online Interviews with English Dub Voice Actors
Watch and read:
– Cherami Leigh Interview: Asuna Yuuki 10th Anniversary and Virtual Reality @ Anime NYC 2022 (Video)
– Todd Haberkorn talks Sword Art Online’s Sugou Nobuyuki (Video Interview)
– ‘SAO Progressive Movie 2: Scherzo of Deep Night’ Dub Review
– Watch Video: SAO’s Todd Haberkorn calls Cherami Leigh live, records voicemail
– SAO’s Cherami Leigh responds to Todd Haberkorn’s dinner invite @ Anime NYC 2022
Visit the Anime Interviews and Anime NYC sections for the latest chats with the top English dub talent in the industry!